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Israel trip was a real tonic for House creator

CARING COUPLE: David and Judy Shore

BY MIKE COHEN

AS creator of award-winning television programme House, David Shore is used to medical dramas.

But on a visit to Israel, he was touched by a visit to a real hospital.

"My wife, Judy, and I were visiting Israel with some of the cast of House in 2011," he explained.

"One of our stops, our most impressive stop, was at Save A Child's Heart. You'd have to be heartless to not be completely moved by what they're doing there and the spirit with which they do it."

As a result, the television executive is on the National Advisory Board of the charity, while Judy is on the US National Governing Board and is the West Coast chairman.

"It takes up a lot of Judy's time, which I know she gets a great deal of satisfaction from, and I'm proud of her setting an example for our children," David added.

Last month, the Shores attended the first annual West Coast ceremony in Los Angeles for SACH - and helped to raise more than $300,000.

David and Judy were presented with the international leadership award from SACH president Professor Arie Schachner.

The 55-year-old told me he was "very proud" to receive the award, but he also felt "slightly fraudulent".

"Obviously the people with the scalpels, the nurses and even the people making the meals in the children's home are the ones truly committing their lives to saving these kids," he said.

"But the unfortunate reality is that if one of the volunteers was honoured, we'd likely have raised much less money.

"Basically we were honoured because we did some work for the charity and know quite a few rich people."

He added: "I love the fact that this charity saves lives - children's lives. It totally gives them back their health.

"But, secondarily, I love that this is an Israeli charity. It makes it a little bit harder for the haters to hate.

"That might be a futile hope on my part; this hatred is obviously not rational. But I do believe that this is the type of organisation that is planting seeds for long term peace.

"I have only received positive reactions from people when I tell them about SACH."

David was born in London, Ontario.

His younger twin brothers, Ephraim and Robert, are Aish HaTorah rabbis, while another brother, Raphael, made three political documentaries about the Middle East conflict.

David said he studied Torah with his rabbi brothers a few years ago, but never planned to join them in the rabbinate.

Instead he became a lawyer in Canada, before moving into television in Los Angeles.

His big break was writing for TV series Due South about a Canadian Mountie being sent to America.

He then produced NYPD Blue, for which he was nominated for two Emmy Awards.

He was part of the writing team of the Emmy Award-winning first season of The Practice.

He was twice nominated for an Emmy as a producer on Law & Order and executive-produced both Family Law and Hack before creating House, which made stars out of British actor Hugh Laurie and Lisa Edelstein.

David created House after being approached in 2003 by producer Paul Attanasio.

The Emmy Award-winning series began in 2004 and finished in 2012 after eight seasons.

Two years ago, David was awarded the Humanitas Prize's Goodbye with Love award, which honours "long-running series of extraordinary writing quality".

But was David worried about making the jump from being a lawyer to working in television?

"Not really," he replied. "I knew that I might fall flat on my face, but that didn't worry me all that much.

"I figured, worst case scenario, I enjoy two years in LA, crawl back to the law and, five years later, it's all just an amusing anecdote."

He added that he got involved in TV in the "traditional way - if there is such a thing. I wrote alone in my apartment.

"I sent my scripts to agents. An agent sent my scripts to TV shows. One of them hired me . . . it took longer than that sounded."

David claims he never expected House to be the success it was.

"I never even thought in terms like that," he said. "I just wanted it on the air and to stay on air - that was the dream.

"I liked it. I hoped it would find a niche audience of people who are amused by the same things that I'm amused by."

Coming up with a different credible illness for each episode was also a worry for David, but "luckily for me - and almost no one else - there are myriad ways in which the body can break down," he joked.

With rabbonim brothers, David sometimes takes part in Aish Shabbatot. He said he understands "and perhaps even envy that setting aside of a time for peace and reflection. I should do it more often.

"My brothers and I were raised in what I describe as a typical secular Jewish household. Temple on the high holidays and Hebrew school till our barmitzvahs."

His brothers "tell me they're proud of me; they tell me they love House.

"And they're rabbis so they'd never lie, although I may have a slightly flawed understanding of Talmudic teaching on this issue."

David says he doesn't follow "strict Judaism", in fact he says: "I don't even follow loose Judaism. But there's plenty of kosher food in LA and I think most producers would respect a need to leave early on Friday -though that could be tricky if you're actually on a crew.

David and Judy are regular visitors to Israel.

He said they go "whenever a niece or nephew gets married - which, with 18 of them, can be frequent".

www.saveachildsheart.com


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